Most health care providers across the U.S. have already made the move to switch to using electronic health records over the past few years. However, experts say that more can be done to make their utilization of EHR platforms more efficient and effective, which in turn can lead to easier processes for medical professionals and better health outcomes for patients at the same time.

The fact of the matter is that a comprehensive plan and approach for better utilizing and integrating the data in electronic health records goes a long way for everyone involved, according to Health Data Management. Whether it's with individual patients or entire groups of people, having a way to look at the bigger picture helps inform better decisions on an ongoing basis.

What can be done?
Specifically, when data or files are siloed, it can be hard to share critical information between departments, the report said. With that in mind, setting up automated workflows and having good processes in place for ongoing and backfile document scanning is often critical to ensuring health care organizations are functioning at optimal efficiency from the front desk to the board room.

Getting in front of it
To that end, the American Medical Association recently launched its Digital Health Implementation Playbook to ensure that care providers are doing more to follow a roadmap that will lead to successful integration of data and document management on an ongoing basis. While many organizations may see significant value in the information that is now becoming available to them, there are also a lot of common hurdles that could restrain proper adoption, at least initially.

"The AMA is committed to making technology an asset, not a burden, and the Playbook provides the medical community with widespread access to a proven path for implementing digitally enabled health and care," said AMA Chair-elect Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, M.D., in announcing the unveiling.

With all this in mind, care providers need to look at their unique needs as organizations and lay out the most effective plans for utilizing as much information as they can in the documents they already maintain, whether physically or digitally, to ensure the best possible outcomes.